‘Nova alumnus finds his niche in the world of top magazines

Amy Sirianni

“I once saw Val Kilmer in the lobby,” Steve said.

But working for “In Style Magazine” hardly means that Stephen Camelio spends all of his time hobnobbing with celebs – quite the opposite. Steve is a research editor for “In Style Specials” the sister publication of “In Style” magazine that publishes “In Style Homes,” “In Style Weddings,” “In Style Makeovers” and other publications concerning all things fashionable. Despite a few star-studded run-ins, Camelio spends his work days fact-checking stories for accuracy and getting credit information for products that are going to be in the magazine.

Basically, he is the man in charge of making sure that the magazine is factually correct. If he doesn’t do his job properly, the magazine could be sued by the people it features.Camelio explained that his career itself was not always as posh-sounding as “the research editor for ‘In Style Specials'” does today. He described the whole process of landing the job as “trial-and-error.”

A former Wildcat, Steve graduated from Villanova with a degree in communications, a minor in English, a plethora of carefree memories and a fear of the Pit’s vegetarian Reuben. He knew he wanted a job in writing, but was unsure of how to break into the magazine business, so he tried a job in public relations.

He disliked his job enough to want to go back to school – this time to get a Masters in Education. After teaching high school hoodlums for a few years, Steve realized that he would much rather be teaching at the college level. Again going back to school to earn a degree in Irish literature, Steve was disappointed that he couldn’t find a research assistant job at a university in the United States. So, back to teaching high school he went. Then, just as “Johnny Football Star” threw the very last spit wad Steve could tolerate – it happened. He was chosen for an internship at “Natural Health Magazine.”

At “Natural Health,” Steve realized his true calling. Finally, he was given the opportunity to write and research stories. He decided that a job on the editorial and research side of magazine writing was his ideal career. He moved to the big city, earned some cash bartending, and worked on freelance writing and researching for big magazines like “In Style,” “Ladies’ Home Journal,” “ESPN the Magazine” and “Teen People.”

Then, an even bigger break happened. Steve recalls, “I was in my office when they were interviewing for candidates [for an ‘In Style’ specials research editor position] and my boss asked me if I had a resume. I interviewed and a week later I started working full-time.”

Steve shared advice for Villanova students. He believes that while college should be a lot of fun – he recalls times at drinking at Erin Pub, going to hoops games, and, of course, grubbing on cheese steaks – it is also important to take advantage of every opportunity.

“Whether it be writing for the paper, working at the radio station, learning a language, taking a class like Asian Philosophy, painting or joining a team,” he says each experience contributes to important individual growth.

Also, Steve advises that college students set reasonable goals for themselves. Goals that rely on too fast a time table can cause frustration and ultimately cause students to give up. Steve obviously had to weed his way through a lot of unfulfilling jobs before he arrived at his current rewarding position.

Even though Steve wasn’t able to share any juicy gossip about Brad and Jen, he is an inspiration to aspiring writers everywhere. He exemplifies hard work and persistence paying off in the end.

And if he isn’t satisfied with all of his accomplishments, at least he saw Val Kilmer in the lobby once.